The original content creation medium (if you don’t count paint on rock,) paper is the must-have form of pulp.
Julia Cameron , author of the creative journaling guide The Artist’s Way says: “When we write by hand, we connect to ourselves. We may get speed and distance when we type, but we get a truer connection–to ourselves and our deepest thoughts– when we actually put pen to page.”
What she’s talking about isntt pulp fiction. But it is pulp. Paper is still the very best place to start ideas for copy and content writing. It’s liberating – even productive – to step away from the screen and “scritch.”
Earthwise is affordable – check current price; – and is 100% recycled. The stock as a good “hand feel,” but not so much it seems precious. I’ve weened myself away from those high-end notebooks. I feel compelled to decorate them with greatness. The pressure!
With a deliberately un-fancy sensibility to your paper, you’ll flow with the go. You’ll feel no hesitation in grabbing a pad from the stack and making your mark(s) on the world.
Call me a Sharpie collector. Or perhaps a Sharpie loser: I tend to lose more than I gain – I think I must leave a Sharpie everywhere I go (you’re welcome) – and thus I replenish my supplies frequently. The black fine-points are my every day, all-day tools: I love the precision of the line, the depth of that black color, and even the sound of the “scritch-scritch” on the paper.
Oh, the sad feeling when I am out of Sharpies and must use a mundane ballpoint to ideate. Somehow, the logo designs, the name ideas, the lists, the character sketches, the flow charts just aren’t as… sharpie.
And then there is the highly saturated color set: so great for accents, adornments, fheading titles, and more robust sketches and doodles. Day or night, home or away, Sharpies are never dull. They are the Walt Now Creative Ideation pens of choice.
Bulletin: your creative content is only as good as your content creation tools. And your brain, but that’s another story. In this post, I highly recommend Apple’s MacBook Air laptop. Five stars for content creation, unless you need battery life, then, for serious, buy something else.Here’s my review, supported by affiliate links.
Apple’s MacBook Air is so colossally cool for content creation, I use two at once. Really. I was such a heavy user of my first one, an 11.6-inch model purchased in 2014 and still killing it, the “a” key now looks like a font from an alien dimension. When I was offered a used 13-inch, as inheritance from an elderly family member, I thought I was walking on MacBook Air.
1. They’re shiny. Like robots in a mirror wearing bling. I just like to look at them.
2. They’re powerful. Mine have mega-memory (newer ones even more) and 1.4 GHz Intel Core i5 processors. Gigantic iMovie files into convert into mp4s in a blink; your YouTube channel need not wait. Every task in Photoshop happens at the speed of thought: yes, you should have a tighter crop on your headshot. De-saturate it while you’re at it.
3. They’re thin. “Have-you-been-working-out?” thin. Look how thin.
4. They’re light. At about 3 pounds each, I can put both into my backpack and zip out the door without straining any upper body muscles.
6. They’re trouble free (but then, trouble is always free.) I’ve had both since 2014, and have had 0 virus or performance incidents. I think the Apple store misses me.
7. They make your fingers feel good. Great keyboard response and large trackpad action to… to… excuse me, I have to kiss my fingers now.
8. Flawless, no-dropout videos conferences while executing all of the above. It’s the laptop for multi-taskers. Or those who aspire to be.
Why do I have two of them?
Hey, why not?
I can have two screens open at once, which reduces the amount of tabs I have open on either one of them. It also suits my creative ADHD: when I look away from one screen to avoid thinking too hard (“brain hurts”,) my eyes and hands fall on the other keyboard, and keep working away on something else.
And, yes, I assign different types of projects to each MacBook Air, by category. The slightly bigger screen 13-inch is better for using InDesign, Photoshop and Comiclife. The slightly smaller 11-inch where I pound out copy in Word: scripts, screenplays, stories, posts and exasperated tweets. Correspondingly, it’s also the one with the most social tabs open.
Is there a “con” to the MacBook Air?
Yes, and it’s a big one:
It’s plain terrible. Awful. Neither of my MacBook Airs can hold a charge.. If I dare try to use without power cord, I’ve got about 15 minutes to live, sometimes less. In my particular creative venues, from home office to library to coffee shop to Whole Foods, I am never far from a wall outlet, so concern over battery life has, like Elvis, left the building. BUT BUT BUT…
If you are, say, a frequent flier, and need a laptop that works reliably on airplanes, forget the MacBook Air. Wipe it from your memory, like Men in Black. In fact, in my experience, battery fans, forget Apple laptops altogether. Go another route. Laptop Mag says the best three laptops for battery life are the Dell Latitude 7400, the HP Spectre x360, and the Dell Latitude 7400. I believe them. On the charged issue of charge, I’m envious.
On the whole, though, if battery life isn’t in your top 5 content creation criteria – as it is not in mine – you will love the Macbook Air. Business Insider agrees: this article is headlined, “After one year with Apple’s latest MacBook Air, I remain convinced it’s worth the high price tag.”
Price tag? Though I’m a freelancer on a budget, and live frugally, I can’t imagine life without these babies. Sometimes day-in, day-out value is worth that first investment.
Walt Jaschek gets killed by crazed miners in Colorado! Walt J the actor, that is. In one of his only film roles (so far,) Walt appeared as the doomed nebbish Harold Pilgrain in the 1984 indy action movie “Planet Gone Mad,” also known by its original title, “Spirits of Jupiter.” Filmed in and around Canon City, Colorado, the movie was directed by Russell S. Kern, with cinematography by Steve Flanigan. Hollywood stuntman Rex Cutter played the film’s hero, Big Jim Drill. Character actor Walt had a few scenes with Rex, his airplane, and the crazy miners who are compelled to kill. Walt did own stunts, including jumping out of that moving airplane, as you will see. Here are the full IMDB credits.
And now, that review.
“Jupiter Filled With Violence”
From the Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph, Friday, March 2, 1984
By Linda D. Smith GT Features Writer
CANON CITY – The residents of this city turned our Thursday night for the premiere of “Spirits of Jupiter,” a film starring many of their friends and neighbors.
Rocky Mountain Studios and Producers Group Ltd., a Colorado Springs production company, filmed the movie in Canon City and surrounding Fremont County last year, relying on the local residents for talent and local scenery for backdrops.
Written and directed by Russell S. Kern of Colorado Springs, “The Spirits of Jupiter” takes the predictions of 16th century philosopher Nostradamas and applies them to 1984. In particular, Kern has taken the idea if the planets Jupiter and Saturn were to align, the result would be a gravitational pull that would wreak havoc on the people of Earth.
The story line has given the film makers a great deal of latitude in creating a fill full of violence.
In one scene after another, viewers see a bloody headless corpse, a man’s eyeball ripped from the socket by a crazed dog, and friends turning against neighbors with guns, knives and meat cleavers.
The story follows mine owner Big Jim Drill, played by Rex Cutter, who is spared the ravages of the gravitational pull. His first interest is in keeping his mine open, until things get so out of hands, he becomes more concerned about the survival of his family. The movie is filled with some very colorful and talented characters, including a modern-day Nostradamas, played by Richard Luna, Drill’s airplane mechanic, portrayed by Cliff Willis, and the fidgety mine supervisor, played by Walter Jaschek.
The roles of Dril’s son and daughter and filled by two Colorado Springs residents. Handsome Chopper Burnet, a drama student at Colorado College, portrays Drill’s son Robert with a great deal of finesse. Carol Engel, a regular performer at the Iron Springs Chateau, plays Jennifer Drill.
And when it comes to villains, James Aerni’s portrayal of police chief Julius Switcher rivals any melodrama house in the area. In the movie, when Switcher first succumbs to the gravitational pull, he gets the most sinister gleam in his eye when he takes off his boot and begins playing a game of Russian roulette with his toes.
Steven R. Flanigan of Colorado Springs, who is the director photography, has made tremendous use of the Canon City area in filming “Spirits of Jupiter.” The action sequences are well done and use a variety of vehicles, from cars and motorcycles to airplanes and helicopters. But Flanigan is best in the aerial sequences, capturing the beautiful countryside on film. Thursday night’s audience at the Skyline Theatre in Canon City seemd to relish seeing themselves and their friends on the big screen.
Colorado Springs residents will get to see and critique the film at its only performance here, at 4:30 p.m. March 9 at the Cooper Theatre. Tickets are $4 in advance from Budget Tapes and Records, Independent Records, big Apple Tapes and Records, or at the door.
Here’s my short, suitably nerdy report and review of… Detective Comics #1000! (Spoiler alert: I lovedit.) Of course I would dash out and scoop up some variant cover editions. Doesn’t take a detective to figure that out! What editions did YOU get? Let me know in the comments!
My suspicion increased when an older couple walked out of the theatre, seemingly baffled. “I feel you,” I thought.
The movie’s early minutes are aggressively Quirky with a capital Qu. Not the naturalistic, observational quirkiness of, say, Juno, but rather a highly self-conscious Quirky – a rapidly cut mash-up of anime, arcade games, sitcoms, and of course the beloved source material, Brian O’Malley’s deceptively simple, black-and-white comics.
You’d think that would be right up my alley! Me, too. After five more minutes, I started to “get it,” but it was a slog to work up attraction for the antics of these slacker 20somethings. They seemed to be photocopies of characters, hitting beats in a script – a Quirky script! – without really touching hearts or nerves.
But, wait! There is hope for me. I did NOT follow my fellow old fogies out the door, and not just because, like the senior citizen I almost am, I didn’t want to waste $10.
Soon the unique lure of the Pilgrim-verse sucked me in, and by the end of the movie I was charmed, and sure I had seem something new in execution but classic in spirit. This is romantic comedy, after all, with its tropes and satisfactions, wrapped in the magic realism of fables and the frenetic, split-screen battles of manga.
In other words, it IS up my alley.
The turn for me was the introduction of Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), blue-haired object of Scott’s affection and the bearer of gravitas from another movie altogether. Ramona has a look that’s at once doe-eyed and hard, betraying an existential sadness at unleashing her League of Seven Evil Exes on Scott. Her lingering question: Will Scott her be her 8th?
That decision falls to S.P. (Michael Cera, pitch perfect EveryGeek.) Though I’d be happier if he’d been given funnier lines early on – why would Ramona fall for this guy, unless niceness was her only criteria for picking a BF? – I can’t fault, and in fact applaud, Cera’s winning amalgam of Juno’s Paulie Bleeker and Superbad’s Evan. (Trivia: Superbad’s Evan had no last name.)
The concept of Everygeek is (like the movie’s studio) Universal. It is Scott Pilgrim versus the world, every day. In the movie, he faces with bravado those Evil Exes, metaphor for the minefield we all navigate in relationships, brought to life by director Edgar Wright in dizzying flights of CGI fantasy.
The Exes – among them, Chris Evans (Human Torch, Captain America) and Jason Schwartzman (“Rushmore”) – are fantastic. But my favorite is Brandon Routh (“Superman Returns”) pulverizing Scott with his “Vegan-diet-generated powers.” As Routh risks losing those powers by violating that diet, this vegetarian was LOLing and submerged in the Pilgrim-verse at last.
I’m waaaay old. That we know. But I ended up loving Scott Pilgrim, and remember enough of love, jealousy, and courtship choreographies to relate. I’m always enough of a fanboy to enjoy the movie’s comic-inspired look. In fact, its very comic-ness makes me suddenly want to channel Stan Lee, who might have summed up the movie’s appeal like this:
“There’s a little bit of Scott in us all, Pilgrim!”
Top: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Pic courtesy Universal Studios.